LISTEN: ‘Twas the night of the tree lighting

Traffic during the Christmas Tree lighting is usually terrible downtown. Will drivers have visions of sugarplums or brake lights dancing through their heads? WTOP traffic reporter Dave Dildine penned a parody of a Christmas classic.

Listen to WTOP's Dave Dildine with his parody.

‘Twas the night of the tree lighting, when near the White House,
Many commuters were stirring, rushing home to their spouse;
A route ill-conceived, without alternates or care,
In hopes that traffic would flow freely here to there;

But the cars were gridlocked for blocks ahead,
With views of brake lights abeam and widespread;
Beyond the South Lawn there arose such a clatter,
The Christmas Tree road closures were the fact of the matter;

Out my rear window I saw a bright flash,
A red light camera clicks and away goes some cash;
When what out my passenger side did appear,
But a white-knuckled driver with his car in low gear;

The old driver was confident, lively and quick,
I knew in a moment his plan would be slick;
Steadfast as ever, at throngs he took aim,
And he whistled, shouted, cursed and called names:

“Now, driver! Now, cabbie! Now biker and walker!
Move, Honda! move, Ford! move, scooter and jaywalker!
Outbound to the freeway, from the National Mall,
Winter getaway! Getaway! Getaway all!”

I followed with haste, hoping his course was profound,
Down the 9th Street Tunnel crawling farther southbound;
From his tailpipe came smoke through gridded teeth,
Circling his red truck like a giant grey wreath;

But the wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon let me to know I had much less to dread;
Weaving between cars, he did most of the legwork,
Then accelerated firmly, and merged with a jerk;

Laying off his horn, our speed gradually rose,
And giving a nod, sticking with the lane that he chose;

On the Key Bridge he gave one final sharp whistle,
And away we all drove like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight —
“If you plan for the tree lighting, you will have a good night!”

Dave Dildine

A native to the Washington area, Dave Dildine is no stranger to the region's complex traffic and weather patterns. Dave joined WTOP in 2010 when the station launched its very own in-house traffic service. You can hear him "on the 8s and when it breaks" from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

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